This week's two big domestic events could shape the next few months, and even years, of British politics. They might leave the Conservatives lauded as heroes who steered our economy through troubled waters - or as incompetent ninnies who badly mismanaged tough times. Will George Osborne end up as hero or zero: as Clark Kent or Inspector Clousseau?
As we get closer to the Olympics in 2012, the promised legacy will come under increasing scrutiny.
Rather than trying to use the strikes to distract attention, the Chancellor must make the right choice in the autumn statement. He can plough on regardless with a plan that is hurting, but not working to get the deficit down. Or he can stop blaming everybody else for his own mistakes and change course.
Theresa May's appalling handling of the whole Borders Agency muddle over the last fortnight shows she has a touch of James Murdoch about her.
In Hackney alone, since January there has been a 80.6% rise in young people on the dole for over six months. These figures are not just a challenge for national politicians, they are a personal tragedy for each and every young person affected. George Osborne has to be prepared to rethink his policies. Otherwise the disturbances this summer may be only a foretaste of what is to come from a generation this government seems to have abandoned.
We can't control the eurozone, but we can take responsibility for the management of our own economy. The government has capacity to change course -it is a national tragedy that it is choosing not to.
We cannot afford a million-strong army of young unemployed. As a country, we can choose to avoid the costly errors of the past. This is not a price worth paying.
However hot a potato the issue of fuel duty becomes, for the sake of the rural economy (among many others), today's debate must not be the end of the discussion.
Whilst people are understandably concerned about high petrol and diesel prices, these price increases are not as a consequence of increased taxes.
The recent debate in the House of Commons over releasing documents related to the Hillsborough disaster was not really a debate at all. There was no dissent. All present agreed that all documents should be released. "Brilliant result", one might say. Or was it?
So the Liberal Democrats have fallen in line behind their Tory masters over the Health and Social Care Bill. Both last night in the House of Lords and in a letter in today's Guardian, they declare that "the time for declaratory statements is past." Well, they can speak for themselves. Plenty of people in the country at large are still disturbed by what the Tory Health Bill will mean for them and want to hear those concerns expressed. There's still a chance to do so in the House of Lords as we examine clause by clause of this massive bill.
The beginning of November sees us enter autumn in earnest; the clocks go back, the nights draw in and there is an ever-present chill in the air. This weekend also heralds the beginning of the hunting season, with hunts up and down the country holding their opening meets.
Today, the Health and Social Care Bill continued its tortuous passage through Parliament, with its first day of Committee on the floor of the Lords. To kick things off, Labour's front bench tabled an amendment on 'the Principles of the NHS'.
Cross-Party MPs and Peers as well as prominent jurists at a Parliamentary meeting in London on Tuesday called on the UK, EU and US to urgently propose a draft text to the UN Security Council approve the stationing of blue-helmet UN security forces at Camp Ashraf to prevent another major massacre when the US forces leave Iraq at the end of the year.
The fruit harvest is nearly over. The best of British apples, pears and plums are on the shelves of supermarkets, local shops and market stalls across the country. But have you ever stopped to think about the hand that picked them?
90 years after women first got the vote, men outnumber women 4 to 1 in Parliament. It's not just the lack of women in politics generally that's concerning, it's also their virtual absence in the higher echelons of government.